Soft, comfy to the feet, beautiful, “like walking on air.” Those are the words commonly used to describe new carpet, along with lots of oohs and ahs. So why shouldn’t those terms come to mind years later when you see that carpet? The truth is, a lot of carpets start to look, well, worn. Stained. Dirty. So how do you keep that brand-new carpet looking just like the first day you saw it?
Choose the right carpet for your space. Don’t just buy the first carpet you see. Think about how much traffic the carpet gets, what kind of traffic (pets, kids, etc.), chance of spills and maintenance needed. Determine your budget, and ask the experts. Some kinds of carpet are made specifically for homes that have pets or for high-traffic areas.
Stop dirt at the door. Use mats in your mudroom and at your exit doors to stem the flow of dust, water, mud and other dirt tracked into your house.
Buy a vacuum that won’t damage your carpet, and vacuum regularly. All vacuums are created equal and won’t damage carpet, will it? Unfortunately, you’re wrong. Some vacuums are so powerful they can damage the fibers in your carpet. Use our post to determine what vacuum cleaner is right for you, and for your carpet. Once you’ve chosen the right vacuum cleaner, use it once a week to keep your carpet looking like new.
Know the right way to clean up spots. When you find a spot, clean it up as soon as possible—the sooner the better. And do you apply some serious elbow grease into scrubbing those pet stains, spilled juice or muddy footprints? You may be damaging your carpet fibers. Next time you need to clean up carpet stains, blot at your carpet with a moist cloth to remove the spill.
Use area rugs. In high-traffic areas, use area rugs to take the strain off your carpet. For example, if the area is a common walkway (or runway in the case of children), put down a runner. Vacuum the rugs often to make sure the dirt stays on the rugs.
Carpet clean. We’re not talking about renting one of those cheap store brands. Give your carpets a real, professional clean twice a year, or at least annually. Make an appointment via email or by Facebook to give your carpets a deep clean, and to keep them clean—and looking new.
Flooring products are continually evolving, and so do our customers’ questions. Most of the recent questions we’ve heard have revolved around one of the newest products on the market: luxury vinyl flooring. Now we know you’re envisioning those cheap-looking vinyl floors your grandma used to have. You know, the ugly patterned flooring that just looked, well, cheap.
Get rid of those pictures. Vinyl flooring has come a long way, with new luxury vinyl floors challenging the traditional flooring favorite: wood flooring. Part of that challenge comes from the similar look; you’ll do a double take when trying to distinguish between wood and luxury vinyl flooring. There are advantages to both floorings, as well as a few disadvantages of wood and vinyl. With the looks (and the pros and cons) being equal, how do you decide between wood and vinyl flooring for your home?
Wood Flooring Pros
Durability. Want long lasting? These floors can take it and make it for a long time. Some wood floors have even celebrated century birthdays. If you have kids and pets, hand-scraped floors can hide the wear and tear that come with an active household, and laminate wood floors are known for their durability. When solid wood floors or engineered hardwood do scratch or fade, they can be refinished and look like new—for a long, long time.
Easy to clean. Wood floors are easy to clean and require few cleaning products. Beware of steam cleaning your wood floors, though, as there are some definite reasons to proceed with caution.
Warmth. Engineered hardwood can also be installed over radiant heating. Radiant heating is energy efficient and gives any room an even heat, along with other practical advantages.
Increase the value of your home. Because of all the advantages listed above, wood floors are highly sought after by buyers and can increase the value of your home.
Wood Flooring Cons
Water. Water is a nightmare for wood flooring, and can cause warping and water stains. Damaged wood floors need to be repaired, boards replaced or the worst case scenario: sanded down and refinished. Because wood and water don’t mix, hardwood floors are not recommended for bathrooms and basements. Homeowners with wood floors in the kitchen need to be careful to clean up water spills as soon as it hits the floor.
Professional installation. Most wood floors need to be installed by a professional.
Vinyl Flooring Pros
Indestructible. Vinyl plank flooring is durable and tough, making it ideal for homes with pets and kids. Because it’s so tough, vinyl plank flooring can be installed in high traffic rooms such as living rooms, family rooms, kitchens, mud rooms, foyers…the sky is the limit with vinyl floors.
Affordable. With a low price per square foot, vinyl plank flooring is one of the most affordable flooring products in the market. Make sure you do your research when selecting the vinyl product right for your home; there are many different levels of vinyl flooring, or ask the experts.
DIY Installation option. Many vinyl plank flooring products snap together, making it suitable for DIYers who want new, durable flooring they can install themselves. Vinyl flooring can also be glued or even installed with grout.
Easy to clean. Have a spill or pet puddle? Wipe up your vinyl plank flooring with a rag, and mop your messes away. These floors require literally no maintenance. As a bonus, vinyl plank flooring can handle any kind of water spills, and has even been known to withstand some minor flooding.
Vinyl Flooring Cons
No refinishing. Vinyl floors cannot be sanded down and refinished like wood and engineered hardwood products.
No impact on home value. Sorry homeowners, vinyl floors are not going to translate into a higher resale price.
If you have any questions about vinyl and wood floors, ask us via email or on Facebook. Or experience the difference between wood and vinyl for yourself at any Y’s Way Flooring in Watertown, Oconomowoc and Lake Mills. The good news is that no matter what flooring you choose, wood or vinyl, your flooring is going to perform well, and look even better.